One week after the grand opening of the Jackson Convention Complex, its inaugural event was held, offering the first-ever 2009 Mississippi International Auto Show. The event featured vehicles from classic to brand new, fun events as well as a few award presentations. With Motor Trend magazine as the show’s presenter, viewers were in for a delight. The show presented 20 major domestic and import manufacturers that displayed their latest 2009 model cars, trucks, crossovers, vans and sport/utility vehicles. Directly outside the Jackson Convention Complex’s main doors, some manufacturers offered a chance for visitors to test ride in their vehicles they would have displayed at this year’s auto show.
Upon entering the complex, both adults and children were entertained with features and events. Throughout the layout inside there were green directional arrows along the aisles to guide the visitors to the latest alternative fuel models on display. In addition, there were many fuel-efficient, non-hybrid vehicles for drivers to choose from. More than 20 models rated at over 30 miles-per-gallon highway adorned the auto show floor. Older generations could take a walk down memory lane visiting the Classic Corvette feature of the 2009 show. Hosted by the Mississippi Corvette Club, viewers could feast their eyes on the a little history of the Corvette, as well as learn a little information about the C1-C6 series. For the younger crowd, entertainment could be found in a visit by Barbie or a balloon art and face-painting extravaganza on Kid’s Day.
This year’s auto show covered many important releases and highlights for some of the displayed manufacturers. Both Chevrolet and Ford featured their new releases. Ford placed its new 2010 Mustang right at the entrance so that all visitors would be able to catch a view of its beauty as soon as they entered the building. Chevrolet placed its new 2010 Camaro back in its section, and it was a treasure to stumble upon through all the GM model cars being displayed. Along with these revamped classic cars being displayed, Dodge adorned its section with the popular Charger and Challenger. Head to head with the American manufacturers, Porsche and Mercedes also were among the others to display their faster model cars. Just next door to the Dodge section was where Nissan hosted its 2009 GT-R, Motor Trend’s 2009 Car of the Year. Along with the GT-R, the 2009 Ford F-150 also received an award; Motor Trend named it the 2009 Truck of the Year.
Many visitors came to find out about fuel economy, alternate fuels, eco-friendly cars and new hybrids. Most manufacturers on the complex’s floor offered an example of their vehicles that fit these descriptions. Ford discussed its new Fusion hybrid and its ability to reach around 41 miles-per-gallon, placing it higher among the fuel economy list of hybrid cars. Regional marketing manager Marty Field also spoke with the Mississippi Business Journal about Ford’s new “EcoBoost” technology in some upcoming models of their vehicles. This new engine technology will deliver up to 20 percent better fuel economy on half a million Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles annually in the next five years. Alongside Ford, Toyota displayed a few of its hybrid vehicles. It showcased its new Venza, which was not a hybrid vehicle, but it sat beside a few hybrid selections including the Camry hybrid and the Prius, still one of the top hybrid cars of its class. Supposedly, Toyota is in the works of developing and releasing a redesigned Prius, offering new features to the user, in the upcoming future.
Contact MBJ staff writer Leslie Galloway at firstname.lastname@example.org .